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David Frisk Education. (2013) 'If Not Us, Who? William Rusher, 'National Review,' and the Conservative Movement.'

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Buckley 21, Ronald Reagan 12, Goldwater 6, Russia 5, San Francisco 4, Frank Meijer 3, South Africa 3, New York 3, Bulkeley 3, Washington 3, Sorensen 2, Limbaugh 2, Meijer 2, Priscilla Bulkeley 2, James Burnham 2, Priscilla 2, Whitaker 2, California 1, Academe 1, Dili 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    David Frisk  Education.  (2013) 'If Not Us, Who? William  
   Rusher, 'National Review,' and the Conservative Movement.'  

    January 20, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00am EST  

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to the campaign but now that it is over where the footage shows is interesting. i hope it is donated to the presidential library. >> first cameraman. documenting your experiences as the videographer for the president. . .
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a brilliant shooting star who lit up the sky and bill a fer never wavered in star which conservatives learned to chart their political course. many have written to william f. buckley jr. that year resistible man but no one but until david frisk has given a picture of the other who among his other salutary contributions played a pivotal role in the life of the national draft goldwater committee and that was critical because if there had been no draft kennedy, there would have been no presidential candidate in 1964. and if there had been no
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candidate goldwater in 1964, there would have been no president-elect ronald reagan in 1980. it was goldwater who proved his famous time for choosing television address which made him a political star overnight and led to his running for governor of california and eventually president of these united states. david recounts how bill rusher shore up the goldwater committee when money ran short and spirits sagged. skillfully guided young americans for freedom in his early chaotic days and forced some order and discipline on the blind spirits who ran the "national review," expanded the conservative movement through the tv program the advocates, his newspaper column and lectures and champion ronald reagan when other conservatives
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were somewhat skeptical about the actor turned politician. bill loved american politics, traveling to distant land, and national review's effervescent edit her bill buckley of whom he once said, quote, the most exasperating people in the world are so often the most beloved and he is no exception. david frisk has captured this and more in his splendid overdue biography of his other bill. dr. frisk is a former award winning reporter who received his ph.d. from clermont and will be teaching the waukee students at the alexander hamilton center in new york. ladies and gentlemen join me in giving a warm welcome to dr. david frisk. [applause]
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thank you, doctor, for that introduction of me and more important, willie rusher. can everyone here all right? i suspect there is a wide range in this room of familiarity and relative unfamiliarity with the bill rusher was the publisher of the "national review" for years almost from the beginning and can also be said to have had a half century long career in the american politics with something of a privileged whirring side or front-row seat.
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he never ran for public office, never held public office, never really founded anything on his own as a number of conservative leaders did and became identified and controlled his own institution. he was as i put it in my introduction william rusher and the "national review" of the conservative movement published last april he was at the edge of the limelight. a lot of people knew very well who he was and a lot of people know a lot less about him. but as people became aware of william, there was a general agreement among the whole fracture spectrum of american conservatism. we have seen how fractious it can be just after this unfortunate election. there was a wide agreement,
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libertarians, traditionalists, purists, pragmatist's that bill really knew what he was doing. what are his great achievements is to give his movement conservatives from the 1960's until the 1990's when he semi retired. more confidence than he otherwise would have had that there really was a conservative movement and he was moving if in perfectly. we have seen in recent years a lot of doubts about whether the conservative movement still exists anymore. some people doubt whether it exists anymore, whether it's destroyed itself. there's been people all along that have said things like that. one of the things he stood for
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most prominently and enduring was one that we have to pull together and be together and keep being together. it is to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, not mr. force for the trees. they are not the most innovative or exciting sort of messages, but it's a very important to have people at or near the top of the conservative movement leadership who believe in and preach these things and ask their fellow activists and conservative intellectuals to remain focused on the need to
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win a majority of the american people and to govern. "national review" as a magazine for about its existence, and probably even more so in its years in the 50's and 60's very much needed bill buckley managing editor priscilla and every other major person there acknowledged they very much need a man like bill rusher to serve as a political ideas and the years as a political counselor, has a link between "national review" type of people as he tended to put it the intellectuals and the practical
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politicians come he didn't just mean people aspiring to public office, but people like his good friend the mastermind of the campaign and the wall marshall of the campaign. he too was a politician and rusher was somewhat of a practitioner of actual politics. he placed a tremendous value on these people, and he was always trying with some success to get the more philosophical conservatives a classic example of course being buckley himself to appreciate that sort of career, that serve individual and that sort of effort. a lot of what you'll find in the book and i sure some of you have read it is a good deal of back-and-forth between publisher
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and also in-house political counselor who had the full privileges by the way of speaking out on any issue officially and unofficially, by officially i mean the meanings they could be held long and interesting. he had the full privilege of speaking out on any issue come editorial, anything involving the "national review" political position, "national review" toned, what it should cover, what is less important, he played an editorial role although he didn't have an official one and they listen to it. at time they got tired of listening to him, but remember if you read about rusher or if you want a question about him this is another world technologically and remains so wendell rusher reviewed at the end of 1998 and his successor publisher said he came in right afterwards and was still operating in the 1950's and '88
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and '89 and the 1850's with carbon paper and secretaries who were counted as secretaries. the more important point is carbon paper. it wouldn't have been keen which he still alive and active today but he would have appreciated it it's an important one this is the era people communicated on paper. they communicated that flank on paper. it was a tremendous resource for my research of the library of congress where rusher's papers are. there is insufficient evidence come sufficient interest in the rusher papers among scholars who were interested in the development of the conservative movement, who i think more often than not are liberals. in the rusher papers that they
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removed several years from the satellite location in suburban maryland to the actual james madison building on the riverside of the hell that is how much interest there has been in the russian papers. if you haven't - dili book about him and as far as i know it will be the only book about him. these people communicated to each other and that is what my book is based on and other dozens of people with interviews with rusher and significant with mr. buckley. they were very candid with each other. rusher and buckley in particular in their different judgments about what positions national review should take and focus on coming he alluded to the difference of the goldwater campaign for the future of the conservative movement i don't think there's time and perhaps isn't any need to stress that to
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this audience any further than it already has been. a very small. russia was in the thick. he at least remained open to the possibility of a candidacy and early 63 when he didn't want to he kept the campaign going when the head of his old friend the souci get was ready to give up for a variety of reasons including financial reasons. one of the great lessons of rusher's carrier is that he didn't believe in giving up ever there was always another bus coming along in ten or 15 minutes. the sun would come up the next morning. and there was always something to do. of one of the people who knew
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rusher well as a activist in the 60's, rusher than being in his late thirties or 40 in the state of factions with the young americans for freedom and so on rusher had an extra ten hours a day someone else said scene seems to be the most organized man in the movement. and now it was little easier for rusher to play that kind of very energetic and very focused role always on all the time always giving it his best, always looking good, speaking well, addressing well and if not always right come always persuasive, someone you always wanted to listen to. it's easier to develop that
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reputation perhaps if you don't have a family. he never married, never had children. somebody suggested to me my research that he was married to the movement i think there is a good deal of truth to that. so there's only a limited number of people who have that kind of a life and play that kind of role. the point is rusher did it. he was a graduate of harvard law school, a graduate 1948, worked at a major corporate law firm on old and major firm but he was really bored by the corporate law practice. he described it in his first book published in 1968 and it's not really an autobiography but there are some of the biographical chapters that are quite interesting. he says well, there's all these silent victories and muted
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defeats in these quiet conversations in these board rooms of the law firm and he wanted more action than that and he also loved politics so much that he had in some way, shape or form he had to do it full time so he walks away from the wall street law firm in early 1956, comes to washington, lives just a few blocks south of here somewhere near the russell building at a little apartment and he joins a very important anti-communist investigator named robert morris. his importance in the anti-communist investigations of the 1950's was apparently significant that whitaker chambers said in a letter around that time that morris accomplished more of what joe mccarthy is credited with in
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terms of useful and constructive anti-communist and that is credited on the right. rusher was at his side on the internal committee and was the number two lawyer on that committee. mccarthy was still alive and believed that he had been very unfairly railroaded by the liberal establishment very much along the lines of what stan evans leader argued in the 2007 book by history. rusher was part of a before we come to the "national review," he was part of a cadre of a very hard and professional anti-communist and that is what got him into the conservative movement. that's what caused him to transition from generic republican as some which
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included what i describe as a just win the beatitude and there is something to be sad to that being willing to lose even a presidential election if it was a constructive sort of lost that one could take pride in goldwater 64 that the tab planted the seeds for the future. he didn't initially think that we in 1948, 52, it was just when, baby. so there are similarities there and similarities in the 2012 campaign on our side and on the other side. rusher sees that. in 52 he knows that eisenhower isn't going to be a great champion of conservative cause
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and probably knew that eisenhower wouldn't be that aggressive and anti-communist, but he wanted to win. well, to keep this reasonably concise but to finish the thought because it is important, russia believed the moderate republican administration under dwight eisenhower was president for eight years just wasn't ideological enough, wasn't anti-communist and have either at home or abroad, rusher believed there was a communist threat within the united states. more and more documentation of that has come out in the last 20 years after the opening of the soviet archives. buckley also a couple of years younger than rusher all of you know probably that he wrote god and man and yale.
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rusher was a graduate of princeton before the war and during war. bulkeley says it is in respect of religion despite their religious heritage of the academe in america. also they don't prevent. their cause i socialists. rusher agreed with all of that. but, i think a greater affinity with buckley can be seen in buckley and his brother-in-law's 1954 book mccarthy and his enemies she's made some errors in judgment but that cause is really important and he is being treated unfairly. that is exactly where rusher is
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in 1954, 55, 56. in the years where he turns from generic young republican republican as some to the hard movement conservatism. there was a bit of the conservative movement even before he founded the "national review" in 1955, but it was sort of -- it was disorganized, by the blight termite might be entrepreneurial individualistic. whitaker chambers had another way of describing it. it was like people popping out like rabbits. you never knew where they were coming from or where they were going. we might see a little of this today now and then. rusher is absolutely thrilled to hear that there is going to be a conservative weekly magazine. at the time, it was weakly. so when he hears about the
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"national review" being in the works in 1955, he becomes a charter subscriber even before it actually comes out. he meets buckley within a couple of months after the magazine starts. he spends a year and a half in washington on the internals subcommittee that he remains in touch with buckley in that circle. he joins the magazine and mid 1957. he wasn't interested in the business side of the magazine which is his technical and real responsibility keeping it afloat, finding more subscribers, getting advertising, that kind of stuff. they needed someone like that and he was pretty good at that. although there is evidence after several years at times he kind of neglected it because he was so into the political side. but he, as i said, he comes into the "national review" with a
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kind of wheat from editor buckley that he will have full free-speech rights of argumentation and advocacy in the internal deliberations of the magazine and that is a good part of the local though i wouldn't say that it's quite a majority but it's a good part of the book and it's very interesting. he advised buckley and the other editors how it should deal with the society extremists at the time, how it should deal with troubles within young americans for freedom, a very important conservative organization. dr. edwards was the first editor of the new guard newspaper or one of the early editors. he started a very young and he has known rusher for that long. he would revise the "national review" people of course who was
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the owner and really the man what was going on out there among the conservatives, with the problems were in conservative politics, what are the challenges, but good things were happening. buckley is interested in maintaining, developing and then maintaining a high reputation for "national review," a reputation as a thoughtful magazine. at one point he writes to his colleagues and says no, no, no, it was an editorial in 1960 he says to the readers that he would have said it equally to his colleagues. our job isn't to make practical politics. it's to think and write and occasionally to mediate. that is to offer -- to play
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something of a broker's role among the conflicting conservatives. whatever they are conflicted about. buckley sees the need for that and he is suited to helping to guide the "national review" in that role. there were two factions at the "national review." i don't mean to overstate that. i don't mean to overstate the conflict. the conflict they all have for each other, but the fundamental agreement was on the importance they all agreed it was important that he had very important duties. but they disagreed about the right approach and the right tone and the right focus for the magazine. the factions, it is a perfectly good word if you can get the
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idea, any idea of backstabbing or underhanded approach is out of your head. there wasn't like that as far as i could tell there were arguments, real arguments, some of which were committed to paper. between the sort of buckling, again, the managing editor and bill buckley's older sister passed away a year ago unfortunately, the den mother of the early conservative movement. the "national review" was a sort of incubator, very generous to them. bulkeley's and james burnham, a very brilliant trots --
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trotskist, the three of them really believed in the importance of the "national review"'s intellectual reputation. they also believed as it was put very early on this was a magazine that should be on the desk of policy makers, academics, senators, important people whether they were conservatives were not. they believed in something of an elite strategy. it wasn't so much to make conservatism powerful as to make it acceptable and to get along conservatives the more important the better to listen to the conservative viewpoint whether it be on foreign policy and anti-communist some come economic conservatism, the
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limited government, constitutionalism or what today is called social conservatism more likely than it would be called traditional conservatism. the issues were a little different and less clear back then there's always been social conservatism. rusher had a very important ally named frank meijer. meijer remains a respected and known at least an older generation of conservatives that there is a society here in washington which i'm going to be a group of leaders that keep this memo alive and they are good to be meeting on monday night and i am going to be speaking to them. he's been described as the intellectual engine of the conservative movement. he too was an ex-communist. but he was a conservative
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activist. a passionate conservative activist. rusher even told me that he had once been a militant communist viet cong had been a militant republican. quote, they are not all that far apart accepting what they believe. what he meant by that is the have a tremendous attraction and respect for frankly for political obsession. he was the intellectual the obsessed, he had a house that was full of books. it's hard to imagine and hard to describe the books for absolutely everywhere so extremely intellectually and extremely political. as david, the longtime chairman of the american conservative union pointed to me and a conservative in the 60s coming you go and visit him and take a bus from the midwest and you come back and perhaps two weeks
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later you get busted out of bed by the phone ringing at 2:00 in the morning. frank would be saying why haven't you done this in his case to university of wisconsin why haven't you done the other thing. i think that particular style of mentorship probably wouldn't be welcome among the conservatives today and i'm sure there were people that thought it was a bit much even if they admired him. the fact is there were people back then that thought of him as the cause so important that they could -- he would have no qualms about calling someone a morning. rusher loved this kind of thing. he didn't have that kind of a regular schedule himself. he was again as i suggested he was more organized than that. but he loved that spirit and
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they were allies the "national review" should be as political as possible. let me say a word and then i will take your questions about rusher's last two decades of the "national review," the 1970's and 80's. the intense discussions and arguments in the "national review" that i have alluded to work primarily, not totally but primarily in the 60's as they were feeling their way as the conservative movement was still drilling. in the 1970's, rusher's focus is on -- is initially and the possibility of replacing the republican party with a new conservative party. i've seen the letter in which he says to a friend, this is about
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1975. my problem with of the republican party isn't that it's not conservative enough. it's that it isn't big enough. again, he wanted to win and the republicans after watergate in the mid 70's were just terribly shaped. i won't cite the details but a lot of them probably felt they were back where they were in the 1930's not only in the minority party but a small minority party. russia wants to take this opportunity to start a new conservative party, not rigid leavitt consciously conservative one in which the liberal wing of the republican party would not be present and therefore would not have the kind of veto power they felt they had. he believed the key to this was
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one not necessarily the most important thing that an important thing was to moderate economic conservatism a little bit and be a little bit more populist. recognize the needs, the position of the little guy. he always had some of that in him but also to welcome the social conservatism, the sort of populist issues. and not only southerners, but what then were known as conservative democrats. rusher was known as one of the first to note the size and importance of that voting bloc. he was one of the first and effective advocates of bringing it into the republican party. and he advised ronald reagan to do this. he knew both ronald reagan and the first president bush pretty well. he advised ronald reagan and then the vice president bush
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some years later to do this. he was successful in that although i don't think that reagan really needed to be -- i don't think that he needed to be told about but certainly it is for the falling and encouraging to hear that from someone who respected him as much as rusher. rusher also wanted ronald reagan to be the head of this new conservative party. well, to make a long story short, she refuses probably prudently most liberal scientists and i've had training in political science the will tell you if a third party is going to be big on the national level it cannot start small. it's got to start big probably with a superstar like ronald reagan. so once he refused in early 75 to join this third party project rusher had going and wrote a book about, it was probably
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curtains for that particular idea. but rusher had succeeded in getting them to think more about the need to expand the republican party coming and for the republican party to be more coherent. not so is ideologically coherent it was willing to forfeit elections. i think that rusher was passed that phase of his political development or perspective by then. so he recognized that if reagan wasn't going to head it it was probably not going to get far but he stuck with that. the full details are in the book on chapter 13. but she came to see in the late 70's that it really was possible for a guy like reagan to win the republican nomination, and once he did come ever since reagan won the republican nomination
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1980 and had a totally successful presidency, rusher remained to the end of his day an absolute republican party loyalist. right or wrong that is another interesting lesson a man who at one time had been a third party advocate comes back to a more conventional political view although he was also a strong conservative. in closing i just want to say two words about his significance as a symbol among conservatives. he was a very elegant man to the if he wasn't particularly tall, he wasn't athletic, things buckley was, but he was wonderfully articulate people get he always spoke in perfectly formed sentences but in public and private conversation. he was always very well-dressed. he knew all the great hotels of the world so this is a little
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unusual for a semi populist conservatives and someone as an ecological as he was. perhaps leading conservatives today could use a few more people like that. in other words was hard for a manhattan liberal to say they are this and that. you couldn't say that about buckley and you couldn't say it but rusher said he kind of reinforced that. they are pretty smart, sophisticated people, they are fun to have around if you can stand their viewpoint. he was another example of that kind of conservative. younger conservatives tended to admire that and bring them along in that kind of style. also as the doctor referred to, rusher was a major, major conservative debate for quite a while most prominently on a show called the advocate's.
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he was the conservative advocate who did extremely well, and a lot of people would watch that and say we can do that, too. we can be as good as he is. i have not really had much time to go into his role young conservatives, but he loved to advise them. he liked hearing about what they were doing. it's very important to do things. rusher didn't like people that sat around and talked or didn't have a lot of patience sitting around talking let's put it that way. so generations of now senior conservatives will tell you the new rusher either personally or by reputation they spent a lot of time with him and give him advice that they had time for him he always remained very proud at that. he retired to san francisco, she
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liked the climate and the relative sophistication of san francisco. he had fallen in love with in the 50's and so he lived there about that last 20 years of his life. and i will leave you with this quote which also gives you a sense of his attitude. and perhaps my last interview with him he said to me san francisco has a dreadful reputation among the conservatives and the new yorkers are always raising the subject with me mostly new yorkers. he said i just dismiss it. i'm not the least bit interested in the majority of people in san francisco think. i like the food, i like the weather, i like the ambiance. it's where i want to live and if they want to live there, too, the liberals, good luck.
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i will be eager for your questions so long as we have time for it. [applause] >> if you will just raise your hand. we do have a gentleman with the microphone. and if you will please come give your name and then ask your question. hopefully a question and not a statement. yes, please come first question down here. thank you. >> you mentioned how she wanted to take a more populist tone at some point. >> can you speegap just a bit? >> he wanted to take the tone at a certain point. do you see that as a potential lesson to be applied today from his --
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>> well, i am not comfortable trying to say what he would say today but it's clear that he always believed from the 1970's and on a certainly always believed and never lost his belief that populace and social conservatism and those voters were absolutely essential to the conservative success that their issues had not been dealt with and had not really been dealt with by the official republican party, hadn't been sufficiently respected so he wanted those votes just as he wanted the votes in the early 60's and advocated that. but he also believed that social
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conservatism and any populist issues tend to be expressed in a thoughtful way. a good example you can find in a footnote in one of the late chapters is a column he wrote about abortion in 81. it was called something like the problem in the strength of the right to life he sees a balance. basically he says i'm one of you. i agree with you but we must realize how smug and offensive or something like that we sometimes appear to others who don't share a viewpoint. so we have to be moderate in our presentation. i am confident in saying russia would absolutely disagree with those who now say in the wake of his loss but we should jettison social conservatism. we should remind social conservatives that there are a
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lot of people who disagree with you and you have to speak to them effectively. does that help? >> if understand, and i think i got this in the biography of frank meijer there's also an ideological dispute when the "national review" got started. priscilla bulkeley and james burnham saying the goal of the movement would be to fight communism and not really care about the welfare state and people like frank my ear saying no, we need to shrink the government first and then that rusher among other things acted as a mediator between those fractions. islamic i'm sorry i didn't get
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the last half sentences. >> one of his walls was to mediate between the factions. i got the sense that priscilla buckley was a sort of distant ancestor neoconservative and my year of course being a fugitive would have disagreements, and i think it is primarily about what the conservatives should do about the welfare state and i'm wondering what his role was in those ideological debates. >> very good question. i would amend something you said which is i don't believe there was much conflict in the "national review" about what position to take on the welfare
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state, but there was some. it wasn't rusher's primary concern. his primary concern in terms of ideologue is the "national review" must be it the logical. the exact positions it took would very often be secondary but so far as they didn't have certain beliefs on these issues it should be really serious about holding other conservatives and especially public officers to the counter in showing leadership on them and in supporting the candidates most likely to be solid on those issues where rows burnham did in fact say in the example it is
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medicare in 65 that it was inevitable. the nature of the health care situation and the population, various things going on there were as rising mask pressure. the congress had to accommodate not. the goal is to make this work as well as possible. does that sound familiar? it's good there was a voice and they are saying that. buckley was more free market. he was actually more interested in economics than rusher was. so, i don't think there was a big dispute about the welfare state to the extent there was commission would be the advocate of accommodating it, but still she is conservative and economic conservative. rusher wasn't as libertarian as frank meijer, but you know, in general, the two of them lined up. >> what about priscilla
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bulkeley? >> i simply don't know about that. what is perfectly clear is that they were very close in a professional sense. their personalities were just meshed together very well. they were both very column. they believed in the high quality for the magazine and keeping things that didn't add up intellectually or were too extreme. rusher was a little more accommodating to the hard right in that respect. i am not aware there was any conflict between priscilla who was the managing editor for the same period late 50's to the mid 80's in her case they overlap
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substantially. everyone liked her and respected her so she wasn't really involved in the personal sort of conflict. there was a terrible conflict between burnham and meijer but neither of them ever quit which is to their credit. two more? >> to more questions, please. >> have i sufficiently conveyed -- i want to make sure that i give a couple more quotes to share with you his vibrant personality and cleverness. important part of the story that's in the book. go ahead. >> you must have had conversations with mr. rusher about a second term.
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earlier you said he considered the presidency on the unmitigated success. were there any reservations about a second term in the iran contra and president ronald reagan's declined intellectual capabilities? >> i apologize. i was wearing earplugs earlier today. would you mind restating the question for me? >> the question was regarding if you had any reservations about ronald reagan's second term in terms of his mental capacity to climbing or the iran contra issues. >> on the second term including the iran contra >> russia was one of ronald reagan's most consistent
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defenders among theological in the fleeting movement conservatives during the ronald reagan administration. as richard brookhiser who is still a major figure in the "national review" and was a writer and pretty good friend said to me if ronald reagan was elected, rusher decided he would defend him on every single wing. -- thing. his reason was in terms of presidents, this is the best diet that we are going to get. it will never be better and will never be as good. so you have to back him up on everything. he had some concerns about the first chief of staff james baker who had come from the other wing of the party of course.
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he was -- he questioned whether someone like that could put his heart into the program. a couple of years after that, rusher was very upset about some i guess you would call them technical mistakes on the part of the communications people in the white house and says that so and so ought to be fired. it didn't happen. his main concern in giving advice which he didn't do a lot of, but his main concern seemed to be what's make sure that we are effectively communicating with the american people and getting a padilla media people and rightly so. on iran contra, what i say in the book is that he followed it with a kind of a dutiful interest. i don't think that he had a great emotional investment, but he was a syndicated columnist for over 30 years he wrote in number of columns to can the
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president aside, and it came down to this. maybe he'd been guilty of a few errors of judgment there but he said it seems to have come down to an overly solicitous attitude or overly passionate attitude towards getting the hostages back and he said that is a crime of the heart if ronald reagan has to have a weakness i'm kind of glad it's not one. he also was damned if he was going to let or enable the democrats and the media that he saw as kind of the same thing to get a republican president. i wanted to ask more about what you thought rusher might have to say about the national review his position today is a highly
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regarded intellectually and ideological publication, but it seems to me increasingly to be positioned i don't want to say any more moderate place but a slightly less combative place than the other outlooks that half a resin since the empire on the talk radio. i would be interested to see what you think that she would say about that. >> to begin with, rusher liked almost any active reasonably responsible and vigorous phyllis conservatism. he therefore appreciated talk-radio, appreciated the more controversial aspect of fox news, she watched fox news. he specifically admired rush limbaugh even 20 years ago before rush limbaugh was quite
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as much of a household name as he is now. i asked him about the "national review," which for some time -- this is about 2005 or so, for some time of course it had been more sort of reportorial and news oriented than it once was and iyad there were people who didn't really like fat. rusher said he was fine with that, she was all for that. he also told me -- and i don't believe this was really a confidence -- batt when buckley himself retired from the actual editorship of the magazine which was in stages she told them and i don't know if it was personally to buckley or not but it was in his view of the
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"national review" have not be just another conservative magazine, but it was important to retain its identity and its brand. so it's clear from that and he specifically mentioned its hinge, the bulkeley family is virtually all catholic. rusher wasn't a catholic but he very much admired and respected as part of "national review"'s message and send it devotee said he wanted that to continue and to extend it has said he had no real beef with of the "national review" and its leader years although he did think there were some younger people who probably should know more history and more of the right wing side of history but they have a kind of relaxed attitude towards that. he didn't have that to be an expectation about how much people would know or how it the logical they would be in his older years he was very much a
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team player and that comes out clearly in the dhaka. >> anyone else? >> how about an example of rusher whit. >> if you know the name of theater sorensen or ted sorensen who was one of the great word smith's for the kennedy presidency and i don't know if he ran for the senator of new york but he tried to to get it going in 1970, rusher in 1970 in this in his prime about 47-years-old at that point. he has been a stable on talk radio in new york for about the last ten years and he knows what he's doing and was to debate
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liberals on the air. there is a man that is still alive and as a radio show on new york who was then a very prominent post. they had the two of them on, and sorensen basically accused them of racism and extremism and kind of the seats that with nixon and george wallace and just as it altogether. not a very intellectually impressive performance. and rusher just goes after him and keeps coming after him and finally says, you know, based on your performance tonight he may think that you are qualified to run for the senate of new york but based on your hysterical performance tonight, you wouldn't be elected a dogcatcher said he says it seems to me you are being rather hysterical now he says but i'm not ready for the senate.
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[laughter] she knew where to give just a little but make him look even worse. earlier on the show somebody was already an issue for many liberals. he hadn't yet been there but somebody said his liberal opponent said have you been to south africa? he says i haven't been, but you must have been to south africa or you wouldn't be making such heavy weather of it. what did you learn in south africa you think is so important for us to know. so she turns a weakness in to the strength. again, turn it around. it's not the politics of personal destruction, but it is certainly a politics of personal one upmanship. he believed in the battle of ideas that he knew it was more of a battle of ideas. there was room for the drama in
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the politics. to pick off the top of my head, he loved to ski and at one point he visited the soviet union and he had a national review group that got together. most of them went and i think it was the winner of 75 or 76. rusher refused and said no because they don't have the right to grant permission. i'm not going to ask communist permission for anything. i will wait until they are thrown out and then i will go, which eventually he did. and he told me i once said to buckley that i would no more go to the soviet union on vacation the and i would if hitler had permitted it and had skied in the austrian alps during world war ii. [laughter] and he said, buckley took exception to that and it was a point